Detecting, evaluating, and monitoring land-use change on the southern High Plains of Texas

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Title: Detecting, evaluating, and monitoring land-use change on the southern High Plains of Texas
Author: Aulbach, Charles Edward
Abstract: The study used remote sensing data and a geographic information system (GIS ) to investigate relationships between changes in groundwater levels and changes in irrigated and non -irrigated land use in Hockley County , Texas from 1974 through 1982 . The goal was to produce information for use in regional planning activities and to develop forecasting models . Objectives were detection of irrigated land use locations , identification of patterns of change in irrigated and non -irrigated land use , and forecasting locations and time frames of future changes . Data were organized as cells representing areas of 67m x 67m within GIS layers that contained Landsat data values , classified land uses , soil mapping units , surface elevation , depth to water and depth to base of the aquifer . Eight main classes of land -use change patterns across the study period were identified and compared with underlying saturated thicknesses using mean separation tests . These classes were tested for sensitivity to surface conditions , energy costs associated with pumping lift and artifacts produced by interpolation algorithims . Additional classes of change out of irigated land use at intervals of 2 , 4 , 6 and 8 years were related to saturated thicknesses ; regression models were produced for each class . Conclusions were that irrigated land use is most closely related to saturated thicknesses of the underlying aquifer . Regression models for 1974 through 1980 indicated that the percentage of land irrigated over a given saturated thickness could be predictive of land use over the same thickness in a future year . Land use in 1982 could not be predicted . Inspection of Landsat and classified data suggested that the introduction of center pivot irrigation technology accounted for twenty -five percent of land that was not irrigated previously becoming irrigated . This distinctly affected the relationship that existed between saturated thickness and land use under row irrigation technology . Reliable forecasting models could not be developed without a longer time series that would permit evaluation of effects of this innovation on the aquifer -land use relationship .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /20214
Date: 1991-05


Detecting, evaluating, and monitoring land-use change on the southern High Plains of Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /20214 .

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